The Cadet is a junior trainer sailing dinghy designed by Jack Holt, in 1947, who was commissioned to design it by Yachting World-magazine. The boat is crewed by two people and sails with a bermuda rigged mainsail, jib and spinnaker. The Cadet is recognized by the International Sailing Federation as an International Competitive Youth Sailing Class since 1958.
The Cadet is known as a one-design boat and therefore all Cadets have the same, strictly controlled measurements. The boat itself is 3.2m long, weighs 54 kg and has a sail area of 4.55 / 4.65 square metres.
The boat was purposely designed to be too small for an adult to sail but with all the attributes of a racing dinghy, including a spinnaker. For many years all Cadets were made of wood but for some time craft have been made of glass fibre which of course means low maintenance. Both wooden and glass fibre are sailed competitively.
Crews will start at 8 or 9 years old and then begin to helm at 12 or 13 but this is largely dependent on size and ability. The class finishes for children when they turn 18. Many Cadet sailors progress on to the 420 or 29er RYA Pathway Classes but many just move on to their preferred Club class or start coaching or move straight in to keel boats.